FSU Art History alumna Selena Chambers (BA ’04) has just celebrated the release of her new book, Babes in Toyland’s Fontanelle, part of Bloomsbury Academic’s prestigious 33 1/3 book series that focuses on seminal albums throughout music recording history.
Babes in Toyland was one of the most influential and underrated bands of the 1990s. They rode the wave of the Minneapolis grunge scene crafting a unique sound composed of self-taught instrumentation and unabashed banshee raging vocals. Their stage presence was enigmatic, their lyrics vitriolic, and their Kinderwhore fashion ironic and easy to emulate. But what made them most inspiring was their ethos and a unique brand of sisterhood that inspired fans to create Riot Grrl and form legendary bands such as 7 year Bitch, Bikini Kill, and Hole. Despite the media’s politicization of them as an “all-female” band, the Babes insisted their music wasn’t a political statement but about personal expression. They would dismiss labeling their act as feminist, but their actions sent a positive message of what a female space within music could look like. Now, almost 30 years after their most seminal record, Fontanelle, was released, the legend of the band is being resurrected and re-spun to reclaim their proper space and context in the history of music and women in rock.
This is Chambers’ third book, and with a writing career spanning almost 20 years within both fiction and non-fiction, she has seen her work translated in France, Spain, Brazil, and in Turkey, as well as publications in the U.K. and Australia. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart, Colorado Book Award, Best of the Net, the Hugo Award, and World Fantasy award (twice).
Recent fiction includes “The Lilith Assimilations: An Ekphrastic Appreciation,” in FSU BFA Director and Professor Carrie Ann Baade’s monograph Carrie Ann Baade: Scissors and Tears (La Luz de Jesus Gallery press) and “The Veils of Sanctuary” in Nate Pedersen’s Sisterhood: Dark Tales and Secret Histories (Chaosium). Please visit SelenaChambers.com to find out more.